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Final group opponent withdraws to send team to knockout stages

STAR PERFORMER: Dan Pass hit an impressive 37 off just 13 balls and bowled well to help his side to a seven-wicket home win
STAR PERFORMER: Dan Pass hit an impressive 37 off just 13 balls and bowled well to help his side to a seven-wicket home win

Haverhill’s Suffolk Twenty20 Cup side have all but guaranteed their place in this year’s knockout stages with their final group fixture unlikely to go ahead.

It follows the team’s seven-wicket home victory over Bury St Edmunds last Thursday to elevate them into a commanding position at the top of Pool A – with the top two sides progressing to the latter stages.

And with final group game opponent Walsham le Willows likely to concede their fixture scheduled for July 15, according to their first-team skipper Liam Bryant, Haverhill have all but progressed.

Bryant said: “We have struggled with availability in the cup this year due to most of our games being scheduled on Sundays.

“It’s been very difficult to get the numbers and so we have decided not to contest the remaining fixtures – as far as I am aware anyway.

“We gave Haverhill a good game in last year’s competition though so it would have been good I think.”

Meanwhile, Haverhill captain Dave Humphrey was full of praise for his team, who produced a ‘masterful’ batting display to catch the competitive 150-run total set by Bury and leave them top of the cup group with three wins and one draw.

Humphrey said things had not started well as his side lost the toss and had to field first.

“I thought that might end up quite significant in a midweek evening game,” he said.

“It gets harder to bat as the light fades but it didn’t end up a factor which was great.

“We bowled well but they still set a high target of 150, I did wonder if it might prove a little too much.

“But what Dan (Pass) did next was brilliant, a masterful display.”

Pass hit an incredible 37 runs off just 13 balls – at an average of 2.8 runs per ball – to put Haverhill back in the chase.

Humphrey said he was ‘very well’ supported by a ‘mature and calm’ 44-run innings from Adam Dellar, as well as an important 17 and 31 from Anthony Phillips and Mark Barrell respectively.

“Everyone did really well to pull it back,” he said. “Dan had a great game, he got a wicket and conceded the lowest runs in his three overs but his batting was just incredible.

“Liam (Botten) also picked up three wickets and I think it was the best I’ve ever seen him bowl.

“The whole team is just going from strength to strength.

“We’re loving this competition and our results are showing that, it’s so easy to put a team together, and such fun to play together as well.”

He said the Haverhill & District Midweek Cricket League, which is also contested over a T20 format and has two Haverhill sides competing, had been good practice.

“The club does play T20 a lot so maybe that’s why we’re able to be so competitive,” he admitted.

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